I started dry brushing this past winter after years of hearing a family member raving about its benefits. I wasn’t convinced but I ultimately decided it was an inexpensive self-care ritual I could incorporate in my routine and at least try. After months of off and on use I decided to take the practice seriously, and dry brush daily. I also decided to research it’s origins, benefits, and get a sense of where dry brushing came from.
So what is dry brushing?
Dry brushing is the use of a natural bristle brush (no synthetic materials) directly on the skin in circular motions, or strokes. The dry brushing practice should be done pre-shower or bath and begins at the ankles and moves towards the heart (always brushing in the same direction). The hope is that the natural bristle brush brings up all of the dead skin cells to wash away during the shower or bath.
Where did it begin?
Surprisingly dry brushing is a skin therapy that has existed for centuries, and is just now resurfacing as a popular way of improving skin quality. Dry brushing has been documented in many historical civilizations such as ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Scandinavians, and in Native American culture.
Another interesting source of dry brushing is India’s 5,000+ year old medicine named Ayurveda which is based on a mind body health system. The practice of dry brushing is called garshana and it is believed to be an essential part of self care.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of dry brushing are what makes the practice so powerful with everything from improved skin texture, to reduced stress, to weight management, and overall natural detox. Cellulite is a rather toxic accumulation of your body’s fat cells, and dry brushing is said to break down the toxins by improving circulation. Removing the dead skin cells from the surface allows for cell renewal which creates healthier and smoother skin as well.
Moving the brush in a circular motion promotes vascular blood circulation and jumpstarts your metabolism which is why weight management is considered possible. It also moves fat deposits in your body which creates a more even muscle and body tone.
What is my experience?
I’ve struggled with cellulite what seems like my entire life, and I will say this practice has seemed to reduce the appearance overall. I’ve never been a huge exfoliation person, and I think my skin has been beyond grateful for it. Honestly, the most impressive benefit however is the natural energy boost I receive when I dry brush in the morning. I almost never feel like taking the time, but when I do I’m so rewarded for it. It’s like a mini massage or spa treatment, and it’s a great feeling to know you are treating your skin well.
What is my method?
I alternate between dry brushing pre-shower, and pre-bath. I try to take salt baths a few times a week, and dry brushing in conjunction is super beneficial.
I start at my feet, and brush the top in long smooth strokes. I’m a bit more aggressive with the pressure than maybe others are, but I find that works for me. I typically brush each section of the skin 10+ times, and always try to brush towards the heart or the center of my body. When possible I brush in a circular motion, and I spend more time in areas I have trouble with. I follow up with a moisturizer post-shower or bath to lock in hydration.
Will you try dry brushing? Let us know in the comments and grab your dry brush in the shop!